According to the urban dictionary a Skrog is a) to ruthlessly fuck b) an unwholesome girl. stupid, ugly, and easy c) The most evil thing imaginable. So as for the band of that name who come from Minneapolis, Minnesota I guess they are probably looking at c) as being the best fit for them. It could be all three though and it’s an interesting and memorable name considering that anything truly good and unique has been picked over by countless others. Before I go totally off the beaten track though let us get to the matter at hand the music of the band that is intrinsically of an industrial leaning. The project were formed by Jay Reiter back in 1998 and although for various reasons he took a back seat in their development he is now very much back in the driving seat on debut album ‘The Global Elite.’ With a title like this you can kind of take a stab at the subject matter and it is a topic that many especially industrial artists have involved themselves in before. Are the words New World Order not already bouncing around in your head accompanied by a thudding beat? If you want further information take a look at the group’s Facebook where they outline the songs ideas, all you really need to know before you hear the music is the mission statement that the band stands for the freedom of the people and the constitution of the USA.
We start at ‘The Revolution’ and get a melange of hefty chugging guitars, bouncing beats and snarling synthetically altered vocals. It all pounds about like a good un and hits the BPM count in style driving and pumping you headlong into Skrog’s distempered world. Spoken word parts add to the austere world collapse feel of the peace and do a good job of sending a chill down the spine. The Bile etched fury behind this has an undeniable metallic backbone though a flailing guitar lead is thrown into the mix taking it part way out of just being in the industrial zone. This further develops with ‘MK-Ultra’ which has a real grind edge behind it and reminds more of extreme metal acts such as The Bezerker and even Cattle Decapitation once it gets fully into its killing mode. ‘Military Industrial Complex’ focuses on slow wreckage built on weighty explosive pounding, spoken words from the vocals and sampled speeches. It’s very effective as is the angry snarling vocals that join in getting the message further embedded. I have to mention the M word here it had to crop up somewhere but yep Ministry are obviously an influence and I could easily hear ole Buck Satan singing over this! After the slow one it is time for mass destruction and ‘Submit’ goes for the throat and pretty much rips it out with some bludgeoning beats and scything riffs. It takes a while before the “stand and fight” chorus bristles forth but when it does you are probably as ready for battle as Arnie in Commando!
I like the way that Dark Metamorphosis injects a bit of very early Revolting Cocks sounding beats into things tipping hats to the likes of Frontline Assembly and Controlled Bleeding along the way. This one would make a great club song especially with the elongated “arise” call to arms shout pulsating through it. Everything leads towards the last section a two part number ‘The Hunter’ and ‘The Hunted.’ The first of these certainly stalks and does so by way of a ten minute instrumental which is a somewhat bold move. It is mean moody, futuristic, atmospheric and effective though so it does work even if it does break up the faster emphasis of the album as a whole. The clank of machinery lets you visualise the hunter as he moves stealthily through an industrial terrain of pipes and steel perhaps frightening his prey by beating things with a tool in hope of getting his quarry to bolt. That is before it morphs into an acoustic gentle soundscape with choral parts, keyboards and even some woodwind. Finally it moves into a brooding weighty piece complete with some neat ever flowing guitar histrionics. It’s pretty film like and again if we go back to Arnie I have to think of The Running Man. As for the concluding piece ‘The Hunted’ well I’m not one for spoiling the end of a story so you will have to pick this up for yourself.
I enjoyed this a fair bit, it is not the most original thing I have heard but it certainly plays tribute to many bands that if you like industrial music will be at the top of your play list. It also does so with style and proficiency making this a good solid listen. Guess it is a shame that this is self released but hardly surprising as a debut album after Skrog have been around for quite such a while. Hopefully next album time around they will be faster and signed.
(7/10 Pete Woods)